Friday, 15 March 2019

PSA: Nyc Nat Nook is closed for the weekend

Good day peeps!

Nyc Nat Nook will be closed this weekend as it is that time of the month where we 'balik kampung' aka go back hometown!!! Will reopened on Monday ya... 

XoXo,
Susan

Friday, 8 March 2019

MPOV: Captain Marvel

My rating: 4/5
IMDb rating: 6.4/10
Released: March 7, 2019
Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Casts: Brie Larson, Jude Law, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening
Category: 2019 fantasy, science fiction film

In 1995, on the Kree Empire's capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers suffers from recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg, her mentor and commander, trains her to control her abilities while the Supreme Intelligence, an organic artificial intelligence who acts as the ruler of the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check.

During a mission to rescue an undercover Kree operative infiltrating a group of Skrulls, alien shapeshifters with whom the Kree have been fighting for centuries, Vers is captured by Skrull commander Talos and forcibly subjected to a memory probe. She manages to escape and inadvertently pilots a pod to Earth, crashing in Los Angeles. Her presence attracts the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, whose investigation is interrupted by a Skrull attack. In the ensuing chase, Vers recovers a crystal containing her extracted memories and Fury kills a Skrull impersonating Coulson. Talos, disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. operative Keller, convinces Fury to meet and work with Vers.

Using Fury's security clearance, Vers discovers she was a U.S. Air Force pilot who was presumed dead after testing an experimental engine designed by Dr. Wendy Lawson, whom she recognizes as the older woman from her nightmares and a friend of former pilot Maria Rambeau. The two escape from Talos in a cargo jet, with Lawson's cat Goose stowing away, and fly to New Orleans, Louisiana to meet Rambeau.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

Unexpectedly, I've watched this movie on the eve of International Women's Day LOL! TBH, I truly enjoyed the whole movie and it's plot plus the casts were really good!

When I first watched the teasers and trailers, I did not get the story itself which felt like there were many gaps. After watching the movie, now I know!!! How all this Avengers started! How Fury had that left eye injured! How Marvel supposedly got it's name! So many 'how' answered in this movie! Not forgetting Coulson too as a rookie then!

It may be slow to some but I find the pace just right. May be a little tame with less action but I felt it was just right too. And it all boils down to The Avengers' Endgame. Please take note that there are 2 post credit scenes so you would have to watch till the end.

Overall, it's serious, funny and entertaining, all blended in just right. I would not have it any other way. Aside from Gal Gadot, Brie Larson is now one of my favourite actresses! I just loved the way her power glows and flows! I wasn't expecting quite a number of funny scenes too but Goose was just so entertaining! The unexpected plots really made the movie awesome pawsome!!!

Now, I just can't wait for Endgame next month! Anyway, Happy International Women's Day ladies!!! Girl Power!!!

Monday, 25 February 2019

MPOV: A Death in the Family

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.91/5
Reading Women Challenge 2019: 4) A book about or set in Appalachia

Author: James Agee
Genre: domestic fiction, autobiographical novel
First published: 1957

The novel is based on the events that occurred to Agee in 1915 when his father went out of town to see his own father, who had suffered a heart attack. During the return trip, Agee's father was killed in a car accident. The novel provides a portrait of life in Knoxville, Tennessee, showing how such a loss affects the young widow, her two children, her atheist father and the dead man's alcoholic brother.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

Apparently this is a memoir about James Agee losing his father at a young age. He recounted the moments of the loss experienced by him and his family, and transferred it into this book. Truly a poignant read, emotionally charged and beautifully written. Such poetic prose with detailed scenarios and activities that I can so relate to the story during that era.

In summary, this book is about family, religion and death. How a Christian family coped with the unexpected death of a loved one. How one could turned a negative mind in view of such stress and duress. How 3 families were brought much closer in a sad time like this. Negativity, hatred, anger... yet was turned to love, respect and understanding positively.

Such a lovely book, recommended to those who have lost a loved one and still recovering from it. It may be religious but the positivism is something we can relate to. Aside from the extra stories which the publisher added from the original manuscript that I find to be long winded, overall it is a soothing read. Definitely keeping this tattered copy which I've recently inherited :-)

Thursday, 21 February 2019

MPOV: Inescapable Fate (The Fate Series #1)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4.37/5
Reading Women Challenge 2019: 18) A romance or love story
My CNY 2019 read #3

Author: Hanleigh Bradley
Genre: romance fiction
Published: April 14th, 2018

When Georgia Kentley breaks up with her long-term boyfriend Darren over Christmas, she really can't wait to return to work on the 27th of December.

The excitement dies when she meets her new boss, Walker Trent. DCI Trent is a misogynistic pain in the arse. Being a young police officer, Georgia has met her fair share of men who don't understand that she can hold her own. Every single time she has proven them wrong.

Will she be able to prove to Walker Trent just how capable she is or will she get herself into a heap of trouble, danger and chaos? And when chaos ensues who will be there to save her?

The above taken from Goodreads.

This was an engaging book from the start and I've managed to finish it within 2 days amidst interruption from the family LOL! It did reminded me of J.D. Robb's Death Series but this one has a different take on the ending. It was a good plot although the sparks flew and advanced pretty fast. So fast that when it reached that cliff-hanger ending, I honestly felt annoyed and disappointed! Hanleigh is smart at that, making sure we would want to know the ending so now we have to wait for the next book, Inexplicable Fate, to arrive tentatively on March 14th, 2019! 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

MPOV: The Painted Hall Collection

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 4/5
Reading Women Challenge 2019: 13) A myth retelling
My CNY 2019 read #2

Author: Anna Tan
Genre: fantasy fiction
Published: Dec 20th, 2018

This collection consisted of 4 short stories, co-related to each other. I've actually read the first 2 way before this collection has been compiled. To be honest, I've enjoyed the first two the best. The last one seemed a little over done, as though there were efforts in trying too hard to complete it.

1) When Wind Blows Cold - read this in 2015!
You can read my full review here:
http://www.sholee.net/2015/10/mpov-when-winds-blow-cold-e-arc.html

This is about Danis from the South who travelled all over town looking for a bride whom he found to be Hana at the North.
Go north, little human. Go north until the winds blow cold and you walk on water. Go north, and there you will find her.
2) The Flame of the North - read this in 2017!
You can read my full review here:
http://www.sholee.net/2017/02/mpov-flame-of-north-e-arc.html

This is about Mica, Danis and Hana's young son, who was destined to be his grandfather's heir to take over the City of Winter.

3) Beneath the Rumbling Earth - new!
This is also about Mica who was no longer the heir after his sister, Hono, was born.
In the Deep where none dare go. Beneath the rumbling earth. Before the Flame is doused. You must rekindle birth
4) The Still, Small Voice - new!
This is about Hono becoming the queen and the expectation from her people.
Listen. Listen. Listen!
Overall, this collection is a worthy read which I would recommend. It is fast paced, short with straight forward prose which made it an easy read. As it's a local fantasy, the plot itself was totally relatable and easily understood. I've enjoyed reading it even though it felt a little 'meh' towards the end. If you liked local folklore, do give this book a try!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

MPOV: A Spirited Manor (O'Hare House Mysteries #1)

My rating: 3/5
Goodreads rating: 3.55/5
Reading Women Challenge 2019: 20) A historical fiction book
My CNY 2019 read #1

Author: Kate Danley
Genre: Fantasy, mystery, paranormal
First published: June 2013

Clara was recently widowed and going through a hard time trying to accept her husband's untimely death. Moving to a new house and all, she's hoping to forget and move forward. However, the new house comes with 'price'. She has inherited the spirits within and with it guided her to meet some new found friends. Managing her grief and trying to solve a spirited issue, this misadventure has turned out to be a blessing instead.

A fast and easy read which I had finished within 2 days. My first CNY 2019 read on my Kobo Touch so as not to offend the CNY misgiving of reading a book literally LOL!!! Anyway I was surprised that it turned out to be a light detective novel! I honestly thought it's just another romance novel!

Kate Danley's simple, straightforward prose had me speed reading as it's easily understandable and truly entertaining. I've enjoyed it's many unfortunate deaths though not as nail biting and engaging. Definitely a quick read kinda book.

I did find the plots a little off at some point and had me in doubts like why Clara can suddenly see ghosts in this new house and not before. Also, with the many earlier deaths, why wasn't it reported before? How the story ended was also a little confusing though expected. Aside from Clara's non-stop thoughts of her dead husband and loop holes, it's a good pick-me up. I might just read the remaining 3 novels just to appease my curiosity.

A notable quote:
"Watching your sadness is worse than dying. Do not die while you are still alive, my love. Do not fear to live and love again."

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

MPOV: 798 Rice Bucket

My rating: 3/5
Location: OB-K6, OB-K7, Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid
Type: non-halal
I liked the simple, traditional CNY decor of this shop LOL! Anyway, it was crowded at the Shabu side so thankfully, rice bucket side was still fine.
Salted Fish Rice Set RM15.90
Definitely sinful with the tasty salted fish! It was so yummy to the last bite with such tender meat and freshly steamed bucket rice!
Braised Pork Set RM19.90
Hub's braised pork was more firm and lean which was a little too hard for my liking. Even the broth was strongly flavoured with star anise and cinnamon.

Price of set meals are inclusive of a dessert and a drink hence it's affordable in a shopping mall scenario. Our total bill was RM41.75 including 10% Service charge and 6% SST. For such a fulfilling meal in Sunway Pyramid, it's bearable lah.

Monday, 11 February 2019

MPOV: Before I Go to Sleep

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.89/5
Reading Women Challenge 2019: 2) A book about a woman with a mental illness

Author: S. J. Watson
Genre: Thriller, suspense, psychological fiction
First published: 2008

Christine Lucas wakes up every morning in a blank slate except for a certain past she thought she was from. The room she was in, the bed she was on, even the man she's sleeping with looked alien to her. Once she has seen the photographs in the bathroom, she always ended up feeling confused and Ben, the man she's sleeping with, would always comfort her, explaining to her about her amnesia and him being her husband. One day, a doctor whom she has been seeing secretly has suggested that she keeps a journal, writing down her daily updates so that she could read it the next day, hoping that it would jog her memory back. As more and more discrepancies appear, Christine slowly but surely remembers more and filling in the gaps rapidly, revealing the truth in the end.

I'm not sure why I had not watched the movie itself especially since Nicole Kidman, one of my favourite actress, was in the main role. It would have saved me time from reading a thick book LOL! Not forgetting the many urges I had to flip to the back to find out the ending! Anyway, it has made my "reading to imagining" experience pleasant as I could imagined Nicole and Colin in the respective roles while reading it.

This is a truly remarkable book! I was kept on my toes from the moment Claire rejoined Christine's life! Thank goodness the ending was not a cliffhanger, albeit a mini medical one, but it definitely upped the ante with the many nail-biting plots! It did start a little slow, kinda dragging at times but the amnesiac plots somehow made it more enthralling. Midway in, I've somehow expected Ben was the villain and when the whole picture came together in the end, it was definitely well worth it!

I've enjoyed how the author has panned out the story and gotten me so engaged, can't wait for the ending. Reading Christine's dilemma, trying so hard to remember, to forgive and continue to live her life... it felt so real! Watson had thoroughly researched on such medical subject and able to translate it into this novel with much efficacy.

A thriller which I would recommend if you are looking for something dark... just have to bear with the slow start but it does get exciting, I promise.

A couple of notable quotes:
"This is dying everyday. Over and over."
"I could think of nothing, nothing to say, nothing to feel. My mind was empty."

My next Reading Women Challenge 2019:
3. A book by an author from Nigeria or New Zealand

At first I thought of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries but the book is just too thick for my commute reading! So I've not decided on another yet, still pondering while reading on my Kobo Touch during CNY.

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